The Battle For Imagination: The Individual Creator Vs. The Collective Box

“This world is but canvas to our imaginations.”
– Henry David Thoreau

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
August 3, 2016

“Imagination decides everything.”
– Blaise Pascal

“Conceive of it this way. Far up in the sky you have people, individuals, who are inventing the fulfillment of their most profound desires, making them fact in the world, no matter what—and way down below, miles under the earth, you have other individuals who could be doing what the sky dwellers are, but they’ve bamboozled themselves into thinking they can’t. Instead, they think they’re trapped in every little response they might have to any old stimulus that comes along. Both groups of people are creative, but they’ve channeled their imaginations and creativity in vastly different ways. Waking up may be hard to do, but you either do or you don’t.”
Jon Rappoport, Notes for Exit From The Matrix

Jon Rappoport [NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com] has spoken at length quite greatly about imagination.  His relentless tackling of the subject has made me keenly aware of what we as a society, and ultimately as individuals, are missing, and missing badly.

Rappoport tackles imagination often and for good reason.  In the land of creative consciousness, imagination is the key to the kingdom.  The portal to possibilities, to action, to answers, to solutions. 

Why is imagination important?  Because imagination is arguably the main tool each individual has.

Imagination serves as an affluent tool of manifestation.  Everything that you ever used required the use of imagination for its creation.

For instance, imagine, just for one moment, that we were to remove the word failure from y/our vocabulary, what type of an individual landscape would a person have?  Ruminate on that for a moment.  Take a few minutes and ponder that very deeply. [1]

Heading into adulthood, however, imagination is removed, essentially castrated from our mind in many ways – as if it’s a child’s play thing.  Because of that, individuals, and ultimately society has suffered.

Why has imagination been stamped out?

Because although imagination coupled with creativity are responsible for everything ever created, the establishment would have you believe that the power that you – the individual –  have comes from the collective.  This subjugates the individual to the group, thereby laying parameters to imagination, when imagination doesn’t have any parameters.

By counting on the collective – by counting on others – one learns to train themselves to seek solutions beyond oneself – the individual.  Not only does that stifle individual progress, but it prevents the individual from being able to solve many problems, or even create rather intriguing solutions that they would otherwise do automatically if their imagination was used in its state of maximum potential all of the time.

For instance, we all have heard of group brainstorming, the epitome of collectivism.  Group brainstorming is one form of collective structure that seeks creation ‘by the group’ at the expense of the individual.  However, this corporate tool is fraught with issues.

Regarding this author and psychology researcher Susan Cain explains in her landmark book, Quiet:

“Psychologists usually offer three explanations for the failure of group brainstorming.  The first is social loafing: in a group, some individuals tend to sit back and let others do the work.  The second is production blocking: only one person can talk or produce an idea at once, while the other group members are forced to sit passively.  And the third is evaluation apprehension, meaning the fear of looking stupid in front of one’s peers.”[2][Emphasis added]

How many individuals suffer from such system?  It’s certainly not optimal, although the illusion of it is always pushed as such.  Furthermore, due to all those reasons, the imagination an individual could use otherwise lays stagnant, rarely if ever used except in certain circumstances.

Not only that, but the larger the group becomes, the less efficient it is.  This, of course, makes more and more individuals mere clogs in a machine when they could be harnessing their own endless creative potential.

Regarding large group inefficiency, Cain further notes:

“…some forty years of research has researched the same startling conclusion.  Studies have shown that performance gets worse as group size increases: groups of nine generate fewer and poorer ideas compared to groups of six, which do worse than groups of four.   The “evidence from science suggests that business must be insane to use brainstorming groups,” writes the organizational psychologist Adrian Furnham.  “If you have talented and motivated people, they should be encouraged to work alone when creativity and efficiency is the highest priority.”[3][Emphasis added]

Furnham’s words boil down this particular issue down to the individual.  It’s at that level that individuals shine the brightest.

Speaking about the issues regarding individuals taking part in groups, Malcom Gladwell, author of the intriguing book The Tipping Point:

“…when people are asked to consider evidence or make decisions in a group, they come to very different conclusions than when they are asked the same questions by themselves.  Once we’re part of a group, we’re susceptible to peer pressure and social norms and any other number of other kinds of influence…”[4][Emphasis added]

As we can gather, the collective is not where an individual’s maximum potential for imagination lies.

When the individual becomes part of the collective, creativity suffers, and thus, his imagination.

That is why it’s up to you to traverse from the periphery of the common place, dull, cookie-cutter reality that’s offered to us as ‘normal’, and warp into the cauldron of creativity that lies in every second, in every page, in ever canvas of your life.

The box is not all there is.  In fact, the box doesn’t exist.  The box is a construct, a precept, a structure.  An idea.  An idea that an individual can transcend.

Life – consciousness – is a boundless canvas of creation, where artists, writers, thinkers & visionaries create endlessly.  This is an inexorable interplay that just spawns more creativity, which spawns more actions, which spawns more solutions, which spawns more…

You get the picture.

Such thoughts would render the establishment obsolete.  They do not want that, at all.

People that use their imagination often are more self sufficient [thinking of countless ways they can create efficiency for themselves], rely on the system far less [who needs the establishment when you can create most of not all of your own solutions], and do not fall for ruses as much [because they know what’s possible, and not just what the box tells them is possible].

Using your imagination/creativity to its utmost degree will spawn the advent of solutions that will literally increase the quality of life you hold.

The individual which uses imagination doesn’t wait for solutions to come to them.  The individual that uses imagination not only seeks solutions, but creates them.  They don’t take anything at face value.  They check – they research.  Why?  Because they realize they control their own path.  They live a better life, a healthier life, because they imagine better possibilities and put them to action.

These individuals don’t allow themselves to be stopped because they’re incapable of being stopped.  That’s not within their DNA.  It’s not part of their reality structure

Curiously, the proclivity to create is so ubiquitous in creative individuals that not creating seems rather foreign.  They always seek create beyond the lines, outside ‘the box’ – always in action, always creating.

The canvas of endless possibilities is there for the taking.  It requires the desire to create to the nth degree coupled with conscious action for the canvas to become something more than just a mere possibility.

What would happen if we all realized our canvas is reality itself?

As the well philosopher Sun Tzu once intimated:

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?”
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Sources & Notes

[1] This notion will be addressed more precisely in a future post rather soon.  It’s not being covered in depth in interest of length and time, but its mentioned for the purposes of showing what an individual can manage to see as possible by just employing the use of imagination.
[2] Susan Cain, Quiet, pg. 89.
[3] Ibid., pg. 88-89.
[4] Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point, pg. 171.

[Book Review] Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Q1
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 29, 2016

Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is absolute fascinating read into the inner workings of the reflective introverts that populate society.

This book by Susan Cain delves into the paradigm that has been glossed over in the “Culture Of Personality”.

Cain begins the book outlining the fact that we as a society have transitioned from a Culture Of Character to a Culture of Personality, which thus left us facing myriad issues from which society still faces today.

The book even elucidates that the world personality was not part of our vocabulary until the 18th century and that “the idea of “having a good personality” was not widespread until the twentieth.”  This goes to show that this notion is quite modern indeed.

Throughout the entirety of the book the author also enumerates countless examples of research and studies that have taken place which shows the notable differences between introverts and extroverts.  Its quite intriguing considering how wrong western culture has been about introverts over the last many decades, if not longer.

Even the school system has been tailored to fit the ‘culture of personality’ rather than the ‘culture of virtue’.  That has done a great disservice to many folks, because as the book mentions between a third to a half of all people are introverts, and yet school is not only geared to push the personality paradigm, but people that are introverts get run over by the system due to people thinking there’s something “wrong” with just wanting to do work by yourself, or perhaps in a less noisy environment that fosters greater inner growth for such individuals.

In fact, the book names a few examples where parents, or people, thought something was “wrong” with a particular individual, when that was just their nature.  Not only that, but introverts, in many facets, outdo extroverts due to their nature.  It’s not that there are inherently smarter than them, its that their process is more efficient in many ways.

Ironically enough, Cain mentions how “we perceive talkers as smarter than quiet types – even though grade-point averages and SAT intelligence scores reveal this perception to be inaccurate.”

Cain also covers the interesting topic of the “Bus to Abilene,” which shows people’s penchant for following others who carry out actions – any actions.

The author also covers the topic of The New Groupthink.

Within her thoughts, she gives her concerns for the system, which is constantly giving precedence for group work – “team work” – all at the expense of the individual, as it claims that ‘creativity and intellectual achievement’ only come via teamwork.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The author covers facts that tackle this rather incisively.

This has taken place because America has wholly shifted en masse unfortunately to teachings that reflect the business community, rather than what’s best for the individual.  What’s worse, Common Core will only further these agendas in order to make sure everyone’s ready to help corporations make even more profits at the expense of true learning.  Let’s digress however.

Another example of how introverts shine is how top performers are often the ones that have the solitude that they require that isn’t available in many working environments.  When freedom of interruption is available, these people overwhelmingly perform better than in environments where excessive stimulation takes place, which hinders production/learning.

Other notions examined are the one of Deliberate Practice, which can only be accomplished by being alone.  This is when not only are tasks identified by individuals that are needed to be done, but when individuals push to raise their performance whilst monitoring their progress and adjusting accordingly in order to be able to achieve what needs to be done.

This not only requires deep motivation, but can lead to incredible mastery of subjects.  It does, however, require a great commitment in many cases if one wants to achieve true expertise.

The book also covers how many extroverts were behind what took place in the 2009 economic downturn, and how introverts wouldn’t have been as careless with money.  It also covers how people tend to link velocity of speech with knowledge, but how that is a big mistake.

Group brainstorming electronically is also delved into, as well as the fear of public humiliation and how large of a role that plays a role in interactions between introverts and extroverts, how important temperament is, as well as the intricate subject of highly reactive children.  Also the topic of pseudo-extroverts is also covered.  This is important, because many people who seem rather extroverted, are in fact incredibly introverted.

If you’re a teacher, a leader, a manager, or any person that needs to know the inner workings of how introverts and extroverts interact on a daily basis, and how to take advantage of each of their strengthen, then this book is definitely for you.